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Domain Therapeutics grants Alkermes a non-exclusive license for its G Protein-Coupled Receptor BioSens-All™ technology

2016.12.14

Technology provides access to a new set of sensitive biosensors that will facilitate drug discovery

 

Strasbourg, France, December 14, 2016 – Domain Therapeutics, a France- and Quebec-based biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of new drug candidates that target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), announces today the signing of a licensing agreement for its GPCR BioSens-All™ technology with Alkermes, a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing medicines for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. As per the agreement, Alkermes is entitled to use BioSens-All™ as part of its drug discovery efforts. No financial details have been disclosed.

“We are very pleased to grant the first of a limited series of non-exclusive licenses for our BioSens-All™ technology. It is a further validation of the power of this technology that is designed to increase the success rate of drug discovery,” said Pascal Neuville, chief executive officer of Domain Therapeutics. “With additional validation from our ongoing relationships with several pharmaceutical partners, we believe that BioSens-All™ is a key platform for improved candidate identification and reduced early stage attrition.”

“We are pleased to have worked with Domain Therapeutics in licensing the BioSensAllTM technology,” said Mark Namchuk, SVP research, pharmaceutical and non-clinical development at Alkermes. “With both screening and characterization applications, we believe this technology will be a valuable tool in our discovery efforts.”

Contrary to what was previously believed, GPCRs, one of the largest and most successful classes of therapeutic targets, do not function as toggle switches that turn on or off a single cellular signaling pathway, but rather as complex biological hubs that engage multiple cellular signaling events. This paradigm shift, known as ligand-biased signaling or functional selectivity, opens promising avenues for the identification and development of better drugs; selectively activating pathways relevant to the desired therapeutic response while avoiding others responsible for undesirable effects.

The ability to understand GPCR functional selectivity obviously impacts the drug screening and profiling strategies needed to identify optimal drug candidates with correctly biased profiles. BioSens-All™ can monitor several dozen signaling pathways, in living cells, in parallel assays and in a homogeneous format. This allows the link to be made between specific signaling signatures of drug candidates and their biological effects. The BioSens-All™ technology generates and analyzes comprehensive signaling data on GPCR drug candidates, potentially accelerating the discovery and development of biased drugs.

The GPCR biosensor technology was originally developed by a team of researchers led by Prof. Michel Bouvier from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) at the Université de Montréal, including Prof. Graciela Pineyro at the Ste-Justine Hospital research center, Dr. Christian Le Gouill at the Université de Montréal, Prof. Terry Hebert and Prof. Stéphane Laporte at McGill University, and Prof. Richard Leduc at Sherbrooke University. Domain Therapeutics acquired exclusive commercialization rights to the technology through two licensing agreements signed in 2013 and 2016.